Call Center Jobs Coming Back To America

Woman wearing headset in office, side view, close-up

After years of sending call center jobs overseas, companies are bringing the jobs back to America. Customers demanding better service and more use of social media to field questions are helping fuel the trend.

Nearly 1,000 new call center jobs are planned at companies near Detroit. Dialog Direct, which already employs 2,000, announced plans to hire 300 more in Highland Park and 200 in its Grand Rapids offices. Another call center company in Troy, S&P Data, has plans to add 420.

Dialog Direct offers most starting workers from $22,000 to $45,000 and will often pay for training and reimburse costs for licenses, according to the Detroit Free Press.

"Call centers offer great entry-level opportunities for new college graduates or people trying to get a foothold in customer service fields," Amy Cell, senior vice president for talent enhancement at the Michigan Economic Development Center told the Free Press. MEDC has tracked 1,400 new call center jobs in the state.

An estimated 5 million Americans work in call centers. (See What it Takes to Be in Customer Service and visit the AOL Jobs Administrative Careers Hub for more information on the field and job openings across the country.)

As Keontay Kelley told the Detroit Free Press, the job lets him "be the knight in shining armor" helping to solve people's problems while working inside an office and wearing professional clothes.

Matt Zemon, chairman of the nonprofit group Jobs4America based in Chapel Hill, N.C. calculates 180,000 call center jobs were created nationally in 2012.

"The higher the value of the customer, the more likely the job will be in the U.S.," Paul Stockford, director of research for the National Association of Call Centers in Hattiesburg, Miss., told the Free Press. He estimates about 66,000 call centers exist in the U.S.

Last year, General Motors started moving call center jobs from Buenos Aires to the U.S. and about 300 contractors handle customer calls and social media posts.

"Lots of people make a career out of it," Stockford said. "Other people get burned out. If you're picking up a phone, and you've got someone screaming in your ear for something you didn't do, it can be very frustrating."
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